Self-Portrait Lighting Experiment

Redhotpengy

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Hey guys! I just wanted some critique on a photo that I took of myself today. It's my first experiment with a lot of lighting.

Basically my setup was confined to a small room. My goal for this picture was very dramatic portrait, but with a blank background.

Here was a picture I took from behind the scenes,

img6952bv.jpg



This is the only had the lighting equipment I had, since I'm not a professional. I'm more of a natural lighting sort of guy :D
It's basically a poor man's studio lol.
Anyways, as you can see I have my Canon 60d on my tripod (I later rotated the head), with two lights attached to it to get as much lighting as I can to my face. I then had the two halogen lights for my key and filler (I later made them higher).

I took about 30 raw pictures and then decided I had enough pictures. So, I put all of this away, found the picture I liked, and started working in Photoshop. An hour and a half later (and a couple of tweaks later on), I have my finished product (Click the link to see the picture, then click on the picture to see the picture in a higher resolution),

marcosuitbw.jpg


It was a picture very inspired by James Bond.

The settings for my shot were,

F/stop = 4.5
ISO = 100
Focal length = 35mm

Please tell me what you think! Thanks :D
 
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kundalini

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Since you embedded your setup shot, why not embed the actual SP? You'll probably get more responses.
 

2WheelPhoto

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Nice!

With the right white balance and additional camera settings, continuous make-shift do-it-yourself lighting works great.
 

kundalini

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At first glance, this is a pretty decent image, even though I'm not usually fond of the shoulders being square to the camera. Looking further, there are a few points woth noting.

IMO, your lights are set too low. This is noticed by the fact your shirt is brighter than your face. Also, the shadows of your collar are extending up on your neck. Setting the lights higher would bring out more detail in your lapels.

The cropping of your hands are not the best. Either have more at the bottom to give some room for them or choose a tighter crop.

I would suggest for you to "follow your nose" a bit more so there is a bit of white on both side of you eye. If you have a particular spot that you want the viewer to see where you're looking, turn your head slightly.

There seems to be a bit of smuding on the background. Was this done in post to remove shadows on the wall? Steeping further away from the background will reduce or completely elinate this altoghether.

Lastly......... wear a belt.

Thanks for posting the SP.
 
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Redhotpengy

Redhotpengy

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Thanks for the advice! I will take this into consideration, the problem is that these lights don't go any brighter, but I will note that in the future if I ever do other shoot and have that equipment available. BTW my hands aren't cropped, they're in my pocket :p Yea the minute I saw the picture the biggest problem were those shadows :\

Yea, there was a bit of smudging. It's a little harder to notice on the original file since it's a little brighter.

Thanks again!
 

2WheelPhoto

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Thanks for the advice! I will take this into consideration, the problem is that these lights don't go any brighter, but I will note that in the future if I ever do other shoot and have that equipment available. BTW my hands aren't cropped, they're in my pocket :p Yea the minute I saw the picture the biggest problem were those shadows :\

Yea, there was a bit of smudging. It's a little harder to notice on the original file since it's a little brighter.

Thanks again!

Jack with aperture/iso/etc to compensate =)
 

kundalini

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Thanks for the advice! I will take this into consideration, the problem is that these lights don't go any brighter, but I will note that in the future if I ever do other shoot and have that equipment available.
Sorry for the confusion. I meant too low as in elevation. They need to be raised vertically.

BTW my hands aren't cropped, they're in my pocket :p
I can see that your hands are in your pockets, but by having them at the bottom of the frame, they "feel" amputated. I was suggesting to have another 6" or so at the bottom.
 
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Redhotpengy

Redhotpengy

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I'm going to take the picture again tomorrow with the suggestions you provided. I'm going to try to include as many lights as I can! Do you think using flash would be good? Even with a very light exposure?
 

jaicatalano

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Careful of the hot lights. Use spider lights or if you don't have the money go with less intense bulbs. You look too sweaty.

I do self portraits a lot and it's a process. My suggestion is do one a day. Don't worry about CC because that is not what you need right now. You need experience training in taking your photo.
 

kundalini

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Do you have a flash? I thought the setup shot was what you have on hand to work with. Work it baby, work it. :biggrin:

I'm a proponent of flash photography. But in the same breath, I am a realist. Work with what you have, but use your imagination for work-arounds.

I think your first attempt was good. I think you can better yourself with more practice.

A couple of thoughts that may be of use for your self portraits. 1) Find something to put in place of where your position will be.... a broom leaning on a chair, a torchiere.... anything vertical that you can pre-focus of where your EYES will be in the frame. That's the point to focus on. 2) Once focused.... turn AF off. 3) Use the self-timer or a remote shutter release. 4) use MUP (mirror lock up) or 5) if your camera has the Interval Timer option... use it. 6) have an adult beverage 7) have a laugh, relax, it's supposed to be fun.

Please share your next attempts.
 

Frequency

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I am never into studio photography so far... yet i find portraits using less no of lights and having beautiful shades, as we would see human beings in non-studio lighting conditions more expressive and attractive...too much of lighting can kill all good emotions in eyes and face; these are by no means advises which i am not entitled to , but my tastes

Regards :D
 
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Redhotpengy

Redhotpengy

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Alrighty, I just took them :) That's exactly what I did. I have the flash on my camera, but I put it on a low exposure so a good amount of light hit my face without too many shadows. I used a coat hanger and put in it my place, so I could get the focus right. And this time I used live view mode so I could see my position instead of guessing. I'll be sure to upload when I'm done in Photoshop :) And yes, I put a belt.
 
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Redhotpengy

Redhotpengy

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Thanks to everyone who commented!
 

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